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Card Market Simmers as Manziel Sees First Action

Long before he took his first snap in Saturday night’s pre-season game, Johnny Manziel football cards were everywhere.  Starved for a true marquee quarterback, the card companies have jumped on the Johnny Football bandwagon with both feet.  And who can blame them?  If Manziel gets the opportunity to start for the Cleveland Browns and plays reasonably well, sales will soar.  While 2012 draftee Andrew Luck may be far more polished at this point, Manziel brings a flair and excitement to the position that hasn’t been since since Brett Favre was a youngster.

Manziel rookie cardManziel hit cardboard last spring in the annual draft sets.  Once the draft was over, Panini’s Score football arrived and since then, you can find Manziel in every new NFL-licensed product.

Among the most popular issues at the moment are Panini Elite and Prestige and Bowman (the various Chrome refractor parallels carrying Manziel autographs have had collectors ripping a lot of that product).  To collectors, the Bowman brand apparently trumps the lack of a pro uniform with sales of Manziel signed cards in low print runs selling for four-figure prices including X-fractor rookie autographs numbered to ten that have been bringing $1500-1600 and even a Bowman Chrome Superfractor which sold for a best offer of somewhere south of $15,000.

While some of the early Manziel rookie cards included the same images taken during his college career, most products 2014 Topps Inception Johnny Manzielissued in the last few weeks have somehow managed to get him in Cleveland colors.  Manziel does appear in a Browns uniform on the artsy Topps Inception product with an autographed card numbered to 50 selling for $227 over the weekend.

He even signed a few cards with the ‘Johnny Football’ moniker before the season began.  There’s an Inception gold ink ‘Nicknames’ autograph card numbered to 10 up for bid now (check out the bidding here).

 Johnny Manziel Topps Inception Gold Ink Nickname Auto RC 01/10 The good thing for shops and those who sell online is that even run of the mill, unsigned Manziel cards are selling for a couple of bucks.

Photographers were busy snapping Manziel’s first game action photos over the weekend and you can bank on some of those shots making their way into packs soon as Topps and Panini look to battle it out for the best looking Manziel rookie cards on an NFL field as the season goes on.

The future is unknown. Plenty of high-profile college quarterbacks have fizzled, even after a strong start.  Other athletes have proven themselves worthy and what once seemed like a risky investment turned out to be as golden as those ‘Johnny Football’ signatures.

Below is a list of the ‘most watched’ Manziel football cards on eBay right now.

13 bids - Price: $68.00 - Watchers: 32
Item # 400796124362
2014 Panini Prizm JOHNNY MANZIEL Autograph Camo Refractor RC #27/65 **BROWNS**
13 bids - Price: $59.00 - Watchers: 28
Item # 121469331738
Johnny Manziel Browns 2014 Panini Playbook Rookie Xs & Os RC AUTO #d/75
8 bids - Price: $30.00 - Watchers: 24
Item # 351211159852
2014 Topps Finest Football Johnny Manziel Atomic Rookie Die Cut Auto 12/25
15 bids - Price: $57.00 - Watchers: 21
Item # 301370761367
2014 Topps Valor~Johnny Manziel~Shield Of Honor~Rookie Patch~Auto /25 Browns
9 bids - Price: $53.00 - Watchers: 21
Item # 131333619988
2014 Topps Johnny Manziel Auto Rookie Card Variation SP Browns
13 bids - Price: $56.85 - Watchers: 18
Item # 301367410972
7 bids - Price: $18.76 - Watchers: 18
Item # 121471336153
2014 Topps VALOR ** COMPLETE BASE + ROOKIE SET ** 200 Cards Johnny Manziel RC+
11 bids - Price: $18.51 - Watchers: 17
Item # 400795704240
Johnny Manziel : 2014 Panini Playbook Autograph Jersey Book 66/99 SP Auto Browns
6 bids - Price: $21.00 - Watchers: 17
Item # 161467775397
2014 Panini Prizm Johnny Manziel Orange Refractor Auto Rookie 53/75
8 bids - Price: $46.00 - Watchers: 17
Item # 221587300549
Johnny Manziel 2014 Panini Prizm Gold Refractor RC 3/10 Rookie lot
10 bids - Price: $25.51 - Watchers: 16
Item # 121469994955
2014 Playbook dual JOHNNY MANZIEL + MIKE EVANS Booklet AUTO 5/5 sp A&M Autograph
33 bids - Price: $93.01 - Watchers: 16
Item # 400795663752
19 bids - Price: $86.00 - Watchers: 15
Item # 251693203810
2014 Certified #225 Johnny Manziel Jersey Auto RC Rookie 013/199
7 bids - Price: $14.50 - Watchers: 15
Item # 131332592708
2014 Elite Rookie Autographs #24 Johnny Manziel Auto RC
5 bids - Price: $20.50 - Watchers: 14
Item # 131331549208
2014 Topps Johnny Manziel rookie Tall Boy insert auto 49/150 Browns
7 bids - Price: $56.00 - Watchers: 14
Item # 371174633116
About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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